Status Quo – Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon (1970)

Vinyl rip @ 24/96 | FLAC | Artwork | 0.97Gb
Rock | Circa 1980 UK repress | Pye/PRT NSPL 18344

Woe betide the psychedelic groover who picked up the third album by Status Quo, dreaming of further picturesque matchstick messages! A mere three hits in a long three years had completely exhausted the band-members’ patience with the whimsy of yore, and their ears had long since turned in other directions. It was the age, after all, of Canned Heat’s relentless boogie and Black Sabbath’s blistered blues, and when the Quo’s first new single of 1970, the lazy throb of “Down the Dustpipe,” proved that the record-buying public wasn’t averse to a bit more down-home rocking, their future course was set. Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon allies one of the most evocative titles in rock album history to one of the most familiar sights in a rock band’s iconography, the cheap roadside café — crusty ketchup, leafy tea, an overflowing ashtray, and Ma Kelly herself, cigarette clenched between unsmiling lips and a face that has seen it all and didn’t like any of it. Neither do the album’s contents disturb her glowering visage. From the opening trundle of “Spinning Wheel Blues” and onto the closing, lurching medley of “Is It Really Me”/”Gotta Go Home,” the most underrated disc in Status Quo’s entire early catalogue eschewed the slightest nod in the direction of the band’s past — even “Dustpipe” didn’t make the cut. But six years on, when recording their live album, the Quo were still dipping back to “Junior’s Wailing,” the midpoint in the greasy spoon experience, and an expressively rocking archetype for all they would later accomplish. The dark shuffle of “Lazy Poker Blues,” too, unleashed spectres that the band would be referencing in future days, including the boogie piano that made 1974′s “Break the Rules” seem such a blast from the past. Compared to the albums that would follow, Ma Kelly is revealed as little more than a tentative blueprint for the Quo’s new direction. At the time, however, it was a spellbinding shock, perhaps the last one that the Quo ever delivered. You should remember that when you play it. Dave Thompson, Allmusic.

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Donovan – A Gift From A Flower To A Garden (1968)

Vinyl rip @ 24/96 | FLAC | Artwork | 1.36Gb
Folk, Folk-Rock, Psychedelia | UK 2-LP box set, 1976 stereo repress | Pye NSPL 20000

Rock music’s first two-LP box set, A Gift from a Flower to a Garden overcomes its original shortcomings and stands out as a prime artefact of the flower-power era that produced it. The music still seems a bit fey, and overall more spacey than the average Moody Blues album of this era, but the sheer range of subjects and influences make this a surprisingly rewarding work. Essentially two albums recorded simultaneously in the summer of 1967, the electric tracks include Jack Bruce among the session players. The acoustic tracks represent an attempt by Donovan to get back to his old sound and depart from the heavily electric singles (“Sunshine Superman,” etc.) and albums he’d been doing — it is folkier and bluesier (in an English folk sense) than much of his recent work. Bruce Eder, Allmusic.

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Donovan – HMS Donovan (1971)

Vinyl rip @ 24/96 | FLAC | Artwork | 1.54Gb
Folk, Folk-Rock | UK double LP, 1975 repress | Dawn DNLD 4001

Anyone who likes the Donovan of “Sunshine Superman” or “Mellow Yellow” will probably want to ignore this album — but anyone who liked the Donovan of “Colours,” “Turquoise,” or “Poor Cow,” or Gift From a Flower to a Garden, will have to track it down, because they’ll find it essential. One has to give Donovan a lot of credit for attempting a release like HMS Donovan in 1971, although it never came close to charting at the time of its release. The drugged-out hippie era that had spawned trippy folk-based albums such as Gift From a Flower to a Garden was long past, and acoustic folk recordings were considered passé, yet here was Donovan setting words by Lewis Carroll, Thora Stowell, Ffrida Wolfe, Agnes Grozier Herbertson, Lucy Diamond, Edward Lear, Eugene Field, William Butler Yeats, Natalie Joan, and Thomas Hood, among others, to what were often hauntingly beautiful melodies, mostly strummed on a guitar. What’s more, it just about all works perfectly, once one gets past the tape-effect tricks and other silliness of the opening track, “The Walrus and the Carpenter.” Spawned at a time when the singer/songwriter was about to become a father, the album has a decidedly playful tone, even more so than its obvious predecessor, For Little Ones. Lovely as that record was, there are also long stretches of HMS Donovan that have far prettier melodies, arrangements, and accompaniment, played at more attractive tempos. The playing here, which is mostly just Donovan’s solo guitar with maybe a string bass and organ, and an unnamed female singer or two backing him on a few tracks, is crisper and more focused (along with the recording), and the tunes are seldom short of gorgeous, whether written by Donovan or simply his arrangements of traditional folk melodies. HMS Donovan marked the singer’s last venture of this kind, into his mid-/late-’60s folk style, or into folk-style children’s songs, and it was the last of his albums to be characterized by whimsy. “Lord of the Dance” (written by Sydney Carter and utilizing a melody that Americans may know better as “Simple Gifts”), “Queen Mab,” and “Celia of the Seals” are worth the price of admission by themselves. Bruce Eder, Allmusic.

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The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry (1980)

Vinyl rip in 24-bit/96kHz & 16-bit/44.1kHz | FLAC (Tracks), artworks | Stereo | 788 Mb | 5% RAR Recovery
Styles: New Wave, Post Punk | PVC Records – PVC7916

Falling somewhere between official release and compilation, Boys Don’t Cry was released in February 1980 in hopes to get the band exposure outside of the U.K.. It captures the first phase of the band well, showcasing the angular new wave that had garnered them acclaim in England. What separates this from the debut full-length (and thus qualifying it as an ‘official’ release) is that unlike Three Imaginary Boys, the first three singles (“Killing an Arab,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”) are included, and tracks like “So What” (the one with lyrics read off a sugar packet) are dropped in favor of the excellent “World War” and “Plastic Passion.” A good starting point for getting up to speed on this era of the band, it works best when paired up with Three Imaginary Boys; then you’ll get the complete picture.—Allmusic

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The Doors – The Doors (1967) (Audiophile Pressing)

vinyl rip in 24/96 | 954 MB | FLAC | no cue or log (vinyl)
DR Analysis | Full LP Artwork | Audiophile Pressing
Genre: Rock | Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs ~ MFSL 1-051

The Doors is the debut album by the American rock band The Doors, recorded in August 1966 and released in January 1967. It features the breakthrough single “Light My Fire”, extended with a substantial instrumental section mostly omitted on the single release, and the lengthy song “The End” with its Oedipal spoken-word section.

The Doors credit the success of their first album to being able to work the songs out night after night at the Whisky a Go Go or the London Fog.

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Tina Turner – Private Dancer (1984) (Japan LP 1st Pressing)

Definitive Master vinyl rip (presented in 24/96) | FLAC | m3u, cue & Tech Log
Artwork | DR Analysis | 989mb incl. recovery | Pop; Soul | 1984
Japan LP (1st pressing) ~ Cat.#: Toshiba EMI ECS-81650

Private Dancer is the fifth solo album by Tina Turner, released on Capitol Records in 1984, which became her breakthrough solo album. Turner’s success with the album came after several challenging years of going solo after a public divorce from husband and performing partner Ike Turner. It is her best-selling album both in the U.S. and internationally and propelled her back to superstardom during the year of its release.

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Black Snake Moan – Soundtrack (2007) (180 Gram Pressing)

vinyl rip in 24/96 | 838 MB | FLAC | no cue or log (vinyl)
DR Analysis | Full LP Artwork | 180 Gram Audiophile Pressing
Genre: Soundtrack | New West Records ~ NW5013

Black Snake Moan original motion picture soundtrack features various blues artists including four tracks performed by Jackson himself. The 16 tracks cover classic to modern blues.

Black Snake Moan, the 2007 movie that stars Samuel L. Jackson as a God-fearing, bent broken soul and tortured former bluesman, with Christina Ricci playing the town tramp he feels he has to redeem by any means necessary, is a wildly provocative look at spiritual and cultural mores and is sure to set some folks on edge.

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Johnny Winter – Johnny Winter (1969) (Speakers Corner 180g LP)

Definitive Master vinyl rip (presented in 24/96) | FLAC | m3u, cue & Tech Log
Artwork | DR Analysis | 724 mb incl. recovery | Blues, Blues-Rock | 1969
Mastered by Willem Makkee @ EBS; Hannover, Germany ~ Pressed at Pallas; Germany
Speakers Corner 180g LP ~ Cat.#: Columbia CS 9826

Winter’s debut album for Columbia was also arguably his bluesiest and best. Straight out of Texas with a hot trio, Winter made blues-rock music for the angels, tearing up a cheap Fender guitar with total abandon on tracks like “I’m Yours and I’m Hers,” “Leland Mississippi Blues,” and perhaps the slow blues moment to die for on this set, B.B. King’s “Be Careful with a Fool.” Winter’s playing and vocals have yet to become mannered or clichéd on this session, and if you’ve ever wondered what the fuss is all about, here’s the best place to check out his true legacy.

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Neil Young (with Pearl Jam) – Mirror Ball (1995) (German Original 2xLP-Set)

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Artwork | DR Analysis | 1.23 gb incl. recovery | Alt. Rock | 1995
original German 2xLP-Set ~ Cat.#: Reprise 9362-45934-1 ~ Mastered by Chris Bellman

Mirror Ball is the twenty-third studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, his only album featuring Pearl Jam, released on June 27, 1995 through Reprise Records. The album has been certified gold by the RIAA in the United States.

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Pink Floyd – The Wall (1979) (Japan LP 1st Press)

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Artwork | DR Analysis | 1.52 gb incl. recovery | ProgRock |1979
Japan LP 1st pressing / Cat.#: 40 AP 1750/1

Generally, the fully developed songs are among the finest of Pink Floyd’s later work, butThe Wall is primarily a triumph of production: its seamless surface, blending melodic fragments and sound effects, makes the musical shortcomings and questionable lyrics easy to ignore.

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